Aluminum and Anodize FAQ:
Here at Phoenician Engineering, it is important to facilitate transparent communication regarding the types of materials and processes we implement across our vast product line.  Accordingly, we have answered some FAQ's as they relate to aluminum and anodize.

Aluminum:
  • Atomic Number: 13
  • Boiling Point: 4,566F (2,519C)
  • Melting Point: 1,200F
  • Atomic Mass: 26.981539
We utilize 6061-T6 domestically-sourced and DFARS compliant aerospace-grade aluminum for Phoenician products.  This is quite literally the same aluminum that is utilized for applications in airplanes, rockets, satellites and medical devices.  An important distinction, yet one often overlooked, is the fact that our material is DFARS (Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement) compliant and melted in the United States.  This certification ensures the material is pure and free from cheaper contaminants from being used and passed off as the same alloy and temper.  Many import grinders and other imported aluminum/metal products are marketed under the aerospace aluminum umbrella when in fact they are far from the same material utilized by these applications.  In essence, US-Melted and DFARS compliant 6061-T6 is very different from imported non-DFARS 6061-T6. The same can be said about imported stainless steel marketed as surgical grade.

Why Aluminum:
Aluminum is extremely light-weight and strong. The characteristics of the metal also make it a highly desirable metal to machine.  Aluminum is used safely and extensively in cosmetics, foods, pharmaceuticals and OTC drug products.  There has been a lot of fear-mongering and misinformation regarding the safety of aluminum and using aluminum for applications like this.  Everyone has aluminum in their bodies because aluminum is present in soil and most aluminum exposure comes from the foods we eat and the water we drink.  Studies demonstrate a negligible potential for aluminum salts to penetrate the skin.  Any small amount absorbed from the use of cosmetic products would be tiny in comparison to the amounts we consume in the foods we eat daily.  Aluminum is a common additive found in foods and products such as toothpaste, nasal sprays, glass, quartz, processed cheeses, aspirins, antacids, salt, baking powders, pickles, flour, cake mix, donuts and waffles. About half of all cookware is aluminum, usually coated with a nonstick or anodized surface.  Even the FDA has published a study that Aluminum in vaccines poses extremely low risk to infants. 

Anodize:
Post-machining, all Phoenician products undergo an anodizing process.  It is fundamental to clarify that anodize is not paint; paint is an entirely different subject matter.  Anodizing is an electrolytic passivation process whereby a current is passed though an electrolytic solution with the aluminum serving as the positive electrode.  Hydrogen is then released at the cathode and oxygen at the surface of the aluminum anode resulting in aluminum oxide.  This process is a reinforcement of a naturally occurring oxide process; it is non-hazardous and non-toxic.  It is also heat-resistant to the melting point of aluminum (1,200F) and increases resistance to corrosion and wear. 


Sources:
Aluminum Anodizers Council.  www.anodizing.org  1000 N. Rand Road Suite 214 Wauconda, IL 60084. 
U.S. Food & Drug Administration.  Updated Aluminum Pharmacokinetics following infant exposures through diet and vaccination. 
Vaccine 29 (2011) 9538-9543 doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.09.124
Robert J. Mitkusa,*, David B. Kinga, Maureen A. Hessb, Richard A. Forsheea, Mark O. Walderhauga
aOffice of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Food and Drug Administration, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Rockville, MD
bOffice of Vaccines Research and Review, Food and Drug Administration, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Rockville, MD